Seven hundred years ago, a Black Widow witch saw an ancient prophecy come to life in her web of dreams and visions. Now, the Dark Kingdom readies itself for the arrival of its queen, a witch who will wield more power than even the High Lord of Hell himself. But she is still young, still open to influence - and corruption.
Whoever controls the queen controls the darkness. Three men - sworn enemies - know this. And they know the power that hides behind the blue eyes of an innocent young girl. And so begins a ruthless game of politics and intrigue, magic and betrayal, in which the weapons are hate and love - and the prize could be terrible beyond imagining.
©2007 Anne Bishop (P)2010 Penguin
"[H]er protagonists are compelling, sympathetic characters who overcome terrible adversity. If you like Anne Rice or Laurell K. Hamilton, try this one." (Amazon.com review)
"Lavishly sensual and overtly erotic, Bishop's fantasy debut features a richly detailed world based on a reversal of standard genre cliches of light and darkness." (Library Journal)
I'm a MA in Theatre and love a good story. I also sometimes forget to proofread my reviews so sorry for any typos ;)
Three things you should know before getting this book. It's very dark and very mature, and if those things are okay with you, the author will take you on a wild ride through the world she created.
The darkness of the book comes from the world it's set in. Some of the characters have names we are familiar with... Saetan, Daemon, and Lucivar... however their names have nothing to do with their namesakes. This is a fantasy world that has nothing to do with ours. To be honest it could have been easier to just name them something else, yet since those names come with connotations, they impress upon us the dark/evil nature of these men... sortof. For instance, Saetan is the High Lord of Hell, yet he's an old man who walks with a cane and acts more like a grandfather. I'll admit it took me a good hour to become comfortable listening to the book because of the names and circumstances but it was worth it.
The mature content is pretty much everything under the sun, tho it could be worse. There's graphic violence and those who take pleasure at watching it, some not-so-graphic sex scenes, the bad guys of the book have a thing for young girls, and the women are uber-sexual females that use some males of their kind as pleasure slaves. However, all that said, the way the book is written, not all of it is smiled upon... it was almost as if the author was showing a world caught up in the worst part of itself. How it needs to be saved. And there's a promise of a young witch who just might.
The world is really well imagined and will definitely appeal to those who like the darker side of novels. There are some moments of revenge that you are hoping will happen, and there's even room for a bit of humor. Imagine two really tough brutal guys falling head over heels for a young girl, one becoming a father-type, the other a protector, both having no clue how to handle someone so powerful and so innocent.
If you're a fan of the dark side, it's a credit-worthy read.
You'll have to put aside any Western Judeo/Christian meanings for the names of the characters and be open to the idea that humanoids are not the only intelligent, feeling race.
This first book is very dark and sick making and ends on an unresolved note. You could skip this one and start with the second book, but I wouldn't. You'll miss some important backstory.
It is a story of love that echoes how we really go thru ups and downs weaving thru a good vs. evil fight that may keep you awake way past bedtime.
This entire series is one of the best I have. I have the physical books also. I am currenly waiting (im)patiently for Audible to get the rest of the series so I can buy them.
Love all of the Black Jewel trilogy books. Bought all the books before buying audio. When I first got 'Daughter of the Blood', I wanted to read/hear more. Would recommend all the Black Jewel books. Didn't love Sebastian and Belladonna as much. And I absolutely love listening to John Sharian.
I found this book so entertaining that I kept taking wrong turns while trying to listen to it while driving. I found the characters really interesting and sympathetic. The world that Bishop creates is *almost* too complicated for my liking (I can never get into books where the world-building is more prominent than the actual plot - for example, LOTR). But I was mostly able to keep track of where we were and who was who. For me, the gold standard of any book is that I care what happens to the characters, and that was definitely the case here - I haven't worked up the energy to listen to the other books set in this world, but I've listened to all of the ones about Jaenelle and company. They only get better from here.
I have been waiting forever for the first three of the series to come out on Audio. John Sharian is the best narrator for her books!! I can't wait to see the other three come out on audio as well!!! Thanks Anne, for giving me the hope that they were coming out on audio!!! :)
I liked this book, it wasn't what I expected though. This is defiantly NOT a romance so don't buy it thinking you will get one. It is a bit confusing, there is a lot of detail, it jumps back and forth so you must pay attention to the reader to know which scene you are entering with the new chapter.
Overall I did enjoy this book!!
This is a terrific book and excellent beginning to a series. I have waited impatiently for it to come out on audio for the longest time. John Sharian does a phenomenal job on all the books by Anne Bishop. Listen to this one! It's GREAT!
I picked this one up, on a gamble. I knew it could be fantastic, or terrible. A number of elements I like in a story were in there:
- A controlling society
- Perversion rewarded and encouraged
- Down trodden heroes that might overcome
- Potential anti-heroes, you love to love as they do terrible things to those that need it
Sadly, the last two seem to take a back seat to rampant, near pointless, perversion. She's created a world that is ripe for destruction, and sets up any number of heroes you could get behind to do it. But for the vast majority of the book, well beyond what would be needed to establish that world, she continues it. At some point, you get tired of listening to new perversions, and just want the deserved action to start.
The magical system also bugged me a bit as well. I've perhaps been spoiled by Wheel of Time, and Mistborn, but I expected more structure, or at least definition of "Craft." Instead, it seemed introduced mostly when it was handy to solve a problem, then quickly "vanished" without any more thought. Only her treatment of the web / chalice received more than a backhanded recognition.
Save your credit, it never comes to a "climax."
John Sharian's voice
Loved his voice and how he made the characters come to life
This type of story is a little too dark for my own taste. Although I enjoyed the heart ranching longing of the main characters, the physical torture (ring of obedience) described is too cruel to be entertaining.
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